When Kalle Fox receives a grant from her graduate program at the University of Montana, her proposal is to head into Mt. Rainier National Park in order to “study how landscapes shape our perceptions of environment.” Once she is out there, however, the lessons she learns are of a whole different sort from the academic nature of her proposal. She finds out, for instance, that backpacking can be hard as hell, an invitation to raw suffering, and that the daily routine of exertion, exhaustion, and recovery leave precious little room for reflection. She comes home, nonetheless, with insights of a different and unexpected sort.

Click here to read Kalle’s story.

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